The advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) made mobile devices a necessity—whether you’re just a consumer or a professional. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t toting either an Apple or an Android device. While the number Apple users is definitely significant, Android is currently the world’s most loved smartphone operating system (OS). This fact made Android the platform that cybercriminals love to attack most.
Despite Google’s nonstop claims that Android is safe, more and more threat-related complaints about the platform are reported everyday. Cloud security leader Trend Micro predicts that the number of high-risk Android apps and malware can reach 1 million this year.
So, how do you keep enjoying the benefits of having an Android device as personal asset or as a business phone? How do you protect yourself from cybercriminals who want to exploit and steal your mobile? Here are 7 great tips on how to best protect your phone and the important data stored in it:
#1 Set a strong password and change it every month.
Your Android must be protected by a solid hard-to-hack password. How would you know if the password’s strong enough? The general rule of thumb is it should (a) be a combination of alphanumeric and non-alphanumeric symbols, (b) be at least 8 letters long, and (c) have at least one capitalized letter. For example, “fReed0m_” is a strong password. Change this every month to make it painfully difficult to guess.
#2 Don’t connect to every WiFi connection you see.
Unfortunately, not all wireless connections are safe. In fact, most cybercriminals use them to infect people’s devices and take full control of it. Modern hackers are this creative and skilled, so you’d better be cautious when connecting.
#3 Only visit safe sites.
Avoid sites that you know are filled with viruses, like porn and survey scam sites. Usually, dangerous sites are pop-ups and spam links sent over social media and instant messaging apps. Always keep a skeptic mind when it comes to browsing.
#4 Download security apps.
Google Play is overflowing with easy-to-use security applications that can help you mitigate the risks that come with Android devices. But make sure that you do research on the app before you buy it, because there are a lot of fake apps out there. Read customer reviews. Also, it’s highly recommended that you check the credibility of the app developer.
#5 Embed a tracking feature in your phone.
There are times when we misplace or lose our tablets or phones. For these unfortunate cases, a tracking application can be a lot of help. Find a tracking app that has data encryption and a remote-wipe feature that automatically backs up and deletes confidential information in your mobile.
#7 Don’t be too lazy to update.
Software updates are not only improvements on OS features; it’s actually a fix for the reported bugs in your present OS. The problem is that users are often too lazy to install updates because they can take a while. Moreover, some consumers think that updates are only fancy enhancements when they are actually there to make your device more impervious to cyber threats.
Cybercriminals work 24 hours daily just to think of new ways to hack and take control of Android devices. They often take advantage of human negligence and ignorance when engaging in malicious activity. If you don’t want to be their next victim, then you better keep your guards up and take heed of the effective tips on how to best protect your mobile.